It is a manuscript donated by the monks of Grottaferrata Abbey to the Jesuits of the novitiate in Castel Gandolfo in August 1890: ‘Spiritual songs with which the voice of Orthodoxy praises the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin’.
The historical archive of the Euro-Mediterranean Province holds documents written mainly in Latin and Italian, a fair number of letters in English, German, French and Spanish. All the relevant dictionaries are available in the study room to enable researchers to use these documents in their own language. Only the Greek language dictionary is a silent witness to the work of its author, Fr. Lorenzo Rocci, whom we have already mentioned above, as it does not serve any translation purposes.
In fact, our archive also contains a document written in Greek, albeit with an Italian translation: a modern ‘Kontakion’, not an original Byzantine artefact but a reproduction of it made at the end of the 19th century.
It is in fact a hand-written text donated by the monks of Grottaferrata Abbey to the Jesuits of the Castel Gandolfo novitiate in August 1890: “Spiritual songs with which the voice of Orthodoxy praises the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin”.
Faithful to the tradition of the ‘Kontakion’, it is presented as a long poetic text – on parchment – enclosed in a cylindrical casket; on the sides of the text are St Basil’s ascetic treatise ‘De praevia institutione ascetica’ and St Ignatius of Lojola’s letter of obedience, both in Greek, and finally signed by the eight young monks and Abbot Arsenio II. Written in modern Greek, the composition is partly penned in red ink and accompanied by a hand-made colour image. The transcription and typewritten translation are preserved in the protective case.
The Kontakion was given to the novices on the feast day of St. Luigi Gonzaga, 23 August, the parchment is in excellent condition.
The Kontakion is kept in the fonds of the Roman Province, in the folders of the novitiates of the Province, in the photo it is close to its case.